New Delhi: Rishabh the Rampant. Pant Power. Silky Sanju… These and other adjectives spun out of Thursday’s performance from the Delhi Daredevils’ stable of young guns will be put away for another time as the home side go into yet another must-win game at the Kotla here on Saturday, this time against runaway leaders Mumbai Indians.
The blistering assault launched by Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson on the hapless Gujarat Lions in chasing a massive 209-run target will no doubt have buoyed the Daredevils, but they also know getting the better of Rohit Sharma’s MI will be a very different kettle of fish.
“This is the big one for us,” DD chief mentor Rahul Dravid admitted on the sidelines of a golf tournament organised by the franchise to mark its tenth anniversary. “It’s going to be a tough game.” Mumbai have set the benchmark in IPL-10 with their eight wins and will not be in a hurry to lose that momentum going into the elimination rounds.
Having lost five games in a row, the Daredevils find themselves in familiar territory, of having to fight till the very end to finish in the top four. Mumbai Indians are as good as through with 16 points in the kitty while Delhi have just eight, with four matches to go.
The Daredevils have come through two big encounters at home, and it will help that three of their final four outings are at the Kotla. But with every match being a potential eliminator, the pressure is relentless, as is the schedule — Delhi play every alternate day till the last of their league engagements.
Still, there is no taking away from the fact that in beating Hyderabad and Gujarat successively has sparked something of a revival for Delhi. While there is no final word on when their injured captain, Zaheer Khan, will be back in action.